When you hear someone say ‘life is just a game’ you would never imagine what Anurag Basu had in mind. His comparison of life to the game of “Ludo” is next-level creativity. An intricately scripted and carefully detailed story with several moving pieces – “Ludo” is the new dark comedy film on Netflix written and directed by Anurag Basu.
The movie shows how four seemingly separate stories overlap at several points and eventually come together. All four are at the mercy of chance, and their moves are dictated by each roll of the dice, without them even knowing it. The four ‘players’ are Batukeshwar ‘Bittu’ Tiwari (Abhishek Bachchan), Akash Chauhan (Aditya Roy Kapoor), Alok Kumar ‘Aloo’ Gupta (Rajkummar Rao), and Rahul Awasthi (Rohit Saraf). Each of them is dealing with a unique challenge, whether it’s managing a fake kidnapping, finding the source of a sex tape, helping the love of your life save her husband, or running from goons after stealing their suitcase of money. But the one person who controls all their movements is Rahul Satyendra ‘Sattu Bhaiya’ Tripathi (Pankaj Tripathi). Every action he takes has a direct or indirect impact on each of their lives.
Sanya Malhotra stars opposite Aditya Roy Kapoor as Shruti Choksi. Her role as a girl conditioned to find a wealthy husband is starkly different from her debut role as a wrestler in “Dangal.” Speaking of “Dangal,” you might recognize the other sister from that movie. Fatima Sana Shaikh plays Pinky, Alok’s love interest, who takes complete advantage of his feelings to get her husband out of jail. Despite being fully aware of this, Alok does everything in his power to keep her happy, including having an outdated Mithun hairstyle. Rao adds his own distinct style to his character in what is probably one of his best performances. Two other characters worth mentioning are Shreeja Thomas (Pearle Maaney) and Lata Kutty (Shalini Vatsa) who bring a diverse comical flavor as Keralite nurses.
Saving the best for last – Pankaj Tripathi as Sattu Bhaiya is phenomenal and very entertaining! Watching how he plays a character central to all the stories and how he thoroughly enjoys himself while doing so will make your day. He has not failed his audiences in the past, be it in “Mirzapur,” “Stree,” or “Gunjan Saxena,” and we have no doubt he’s going to keep shining in every role he chooses going forward too.
As apprehensive as I was about watching a movie named “Ludo” with a very mixed cast, I was pleasantly surprised at how well it has been executed because a story like that could have been all over the place and gone south easily. Basu’s thoughtful direction and the strong star cast helps keep the movie on track and entertaining!
Consultant by day and professional dancer on weekends, Neha loves going to the movies and has a not-so-secret crush on Hrithik Roshan!